Japanese garden rock MOVING.

Discussion in 'Japanese Gardens' started by cocobolo, May 21, 2008.

  1. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    I have just found a rock which I would dearly love to move into my Japanese Garden.
    Here's the problem. I will estimate the weight of this rock to be about 600 lbs. I am on an unserviced island, which means no roads or machinery here. It only has to go about 50 yards or so, but the ground is pretty rough. Several large tree roots in the way, that sort of thing. I doubt that I could get it into a large wheelbarrow, and even if I could, I almost for sure couldn't move it. I have ropes and winches etc. I thought about trying to get it onto a piece of thick plywood and sliding it via the winch system. The rock has some lovely moss on it which I would prefer not to destroy.
    Does anyone have any ideas about how to do this?
    I could probably use some large wood rollers made from sections of some of the smaller tree trunks we have just removed.
    Any ideas at all?
    Thanks
     
  2. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    A couple of snatch blocks that you can strap to something may help to avoid the large tree roots when sliding or rolling it. Could also use a set of blocks to get more purchase.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  3. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Good idea. I do have one snatch block here. Have to see what else I can find. Thanks. There are several trees that I can get a line fairly high up so that will have a lifting effect as well as being able to drag the thing.
    The first 30 yards or so are going to be the worst. The last 20 I think I can use a hand powered winch that is attached to a big log. It has a 3,700 lb. pull.
     
  4. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    A small hp donkey might help, something a handlogger or blocksplitter might have, or somebody on the island that uses one to get their firewood.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2008
  5. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Chimera:
    Sorry for the delay in replying to you - no notice came through via the website. More likely my fault than anything else.
    Nothing like that at all on the island. I do have a 12volt winch, but my hand powered one is much stronger.
    Any ideas on something that I can rig up to actually move this rock on?
    I have a small sawmill here, so I have access to whatever wood I might need to build some sort of contraption.
    If I can get this one moved, there are a few others about 100 yards away that I wouldn't mind going after. That is, assuming I can get the first one in place!
     
  6. Coastal

    Coastal Active Member

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    Rent a helicopter?

    Rent a tree dolly?
     
  7. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Love the helicopter idea! I actually have a friend who instructs in the use of those things. They start at $1500 an hour!
    Never heard of a tree dolly, is that anything like an appliance dolly, or is it more like a Dolly Parton!
    I was actually thinking of trying to make a dolly with four pneumatic wheelbarrow type tires. Something along the lines of an oversize red flyer wagon.
    I have a big tripod which I can hook up a 1 ton chain hoist to for lifting purposes.
    Because there are several other fairly decent rocks within 100 meters or so, it might be worth it.
    Unless I can get a real deal on the chopper!
     
  8. Coastal

    Coastal Active Member

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    Ok scratch the helicopter, but a tree dolly is like a dolly parton, but instead of two huge....theres two huge tires. It looks much like a movers 2 wheel dolly, but they are built very heavy duty.
     
  9. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    What if you were to split the stone in half...I have read and seen where people have had to do that and then seal the stone back together so well that you would never know...or make it look like a crevice where water is trickling out of it or even gushing. Just a thought.
     
  10. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    I have some news about moving really big rocks.
    I am about 80% of the way through digging out for the pond in my Japanese garden.
    Until yesterday, all I hit was roots and relatively small stones. Nothing over about 60 lbs.
    Then I ran into a genuine ROCK. It measures 27" by 21" by 18" high. I simply cannot believe how heavy this thing is. Using a big steel bar, over 4' long, and a fulcrum very close to the rock, it was all I could do to lift one side of the rock high enough so that my wife could push a 4 x 4 under it. Then we repeated the process on side 2.
    I was able to tie some heavy rope around the rock, and with the aid of a 4,000# pull cumalong, slowly drag it across the ground and up a short rise. The last part was real fun.
    After this exercise was over, I decided that will be the last genuine all Canadian rock that I will attempt to move.
     

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  11. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    I'm so glad you were able to get that big rock for your pond. Can't wait to see it in situ.
    My husband has collected granite rocks for me, fortunately, the big nice one was on a hill, a native american was hitchhiking and he helped my husband to get it in his truck. That was the easy part, as he just backed up to the hill. Getting it out of the truck was a different story and it took three men to push it out of the truck and then a few years to get it over to where I wanted it in the garden.

    As we progressed getting a lift attachment for a new Ford pick up, that helped a lot. Then my son had rented a back hoe and bucket for excavation work and finally got the stone moved to a mound of dirt in my perennial flower garden. I wasn't sure if that was exactly where I wanted it, but it will do. I finally get to enjoy it!
     
  12. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Aww, come on, all that help is cheating!!
     
  13. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    OH, you haven't seen all the other rock that we have collected through the years! lol
    And the 3 man size one took a few years to get it moved to its spot. My husband had even bought a kubota tractor without the bucket...thinking that one son that does welding would attach a bucket DH bought from another source. (and they say women spend a lot of money...) Well, that bucket is still sitting on the ground and the kubota is only good for maybe lifting a few things, it can cut grassy fields, grade a driveway somewhat and tow a little trailer DH bought for me. (I forgot DH bought a snowblower for it, for the 6 inches of snow we get in Boise once a year...lol)

    But guess who has the trailer, eldest son down the street attached to his ATV 4 wheeler.

    Finally, DH bought a new self propelled lawn mower that mulches and I can use if gasoline is in it. And I'm still waiting from last year to get a carborator ordered and rope reinstalled in my rototiller. I think that might have gotten done about a week ago.

    Eldest son that welds, has not welded the bucket on the tractor yet, things like this get done only when he needs it or he gets paid. Plus he does have a wife and 2 small children. So I just dig into the soil with my almost bare hands and till the soil that way, 1 ft at a time.

    I think we tried to drag that big rock, with the tractor or pick up, but there are objects in the way that the larger size vehicles can't go into. Some day I'll get a bucket on the tractor, but my pond and landscaping will be all done by then. LOL

    I wonder if it will get done before you get your japanese garden finished...hmmm...that would be a challenge. I bet your garden gets done before the bucket gets welded onto the tractor. And we still have heavy granite rocks to move around. Ugh.

    I envy you having a mill. That must be really nice! You really need to go to Koi Shack website and see what a koi pondkeeper did with all the rocks around the area where he lives in Canada some place. He did cheat as he has all that nice equipment to lift rocks though. And he and his family live on a mountain full of stone and a lake just below them, and I think the lake or someplace gets hot water from somewhere.

    But his koi pond is amazing and he did most of the work himself. He does have computer skills in design, so I guess that helps. ;-D
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  14. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Hi Karalyn:
    The one big rock I dug out of the pond area is less than half the size of the other one on the pathway, which I would like to have. I think I realize now how seriously I underestimated its' weight. Now I would have to guess 15-1800 lbs.
    If no. 1 son will only fix the bucket if he needs it, why don't you try to make sure he needs it for something soon? Couldn't hurt to try!
    I'm going to dig up that koi website and have a look. Thanks for that,
     
  15. Coastal

    Coastal Active Member

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    Wow that looks like a lot of fun! Ok no it doesnt...

    Soooo how do you get to your island? Couldnt you get a small machine on a barge? I have one excavator that is only 28" wide and weighs around 2200lbs....very tiny, but very powerful and I know some of the United Rentals have the same machine.



    This is my preferred method:
     

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  16. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Hi Coastal:
    Yes, you can bring things over here by barge, but there are only one or two places that a barge can get in to let something off. Last year a big barge brought over a dual axle truck full of building supplies.
    They go into Otter Bay for something like that. However, there is a very soft patch of trail - no real roads here - where the truck got stuck. From what I heard, nobody really enjoyed unloading the 42,000 lbs of materials off the truck and moving them by hand!
    One fellow here has a very small dozer. But, and there's always a but over here, we live on a smallish point of land which is not accessible to the main part of the island except by foot.
    Hence everything is done by hand.
    Then there is the other catch, barge costs start at $1,000 and go up, depending on what you are bringing over.
    Now you can see why I will be quite happy to live without the big rock. Maybe I can make a fiberglass one?
     
  17. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I can give you detailed instructions on building a fiberglass rock, right down to painting techniques to fake moss etc on it, but I urge you not to - it will never look quite right, and nothing beats the real thing.

    You could, if you have about 3 other people to help you, use the Incan log-rollers and flat board method of moving large stones like that.... You've got the cut log sections to roll it on, so what you need is fairly long levers to hoik it up onto the rollers. You were going in a good direction with the plywood-on-rollers idea, but the very best thing to do would be to hook the stone to a horse or donkey. Surely somebody on the island has such a beastie that you could borrow. Grampa used to pull murrain boulders out of his field using a Morgan horse, or barring that a pair of Clydes; down here we use Burros or for very high altitudes, a team of four Llamas or Alpacas. (I prefer Llamas, they're a bit stronger.)
     
  18. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Hi lorax:
    Have you found the Truffula Trees yet?
    I was more or less joking about the fiberglass rocks. Although I do remember reading about two different methods of making them by using a real rock to take a mould from.
    In fact, a world famous artist who lives on another of the Gulf Islands near here used sections of a nice rock to take castings from. I could not tell that they were not the real thing when he was finished.
    I'm afraid I have given up on bringing the nice big rock from the pathway over to the garden. There are only 4 families living full time on this island. Two of them we rarely see due to their work commitments.
    But thank you for the ideas anyway.
     
  19. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Hi coco:

    I haven't yet - still looking. I figure I have a good chance of finding them down here, though. Good luck with your fiberglass! (Perhaps it's just me and my thespian background, but in the theatre, they look just as fake as the styrofoam ones....)
     

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